A researcher, Prof. Francis Amamefule, has urged the Nigerian government to evolve policies that will encourage the local production of West African Dwarf, WAD, goat.
Mr Ahamefule, a Professor of Animal Production at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in Abia State, made the call on Wednesday during the university’s 47th inaugural lecture.
In the lecture, entitled “Rhymes from rainforest Dwarf Caprine: ancient and modern,” the researcher said that the production of WAD goat would provide solution to the short supply of animal protein in the country.
He said that WAD goat had not received the prominence it deserved from successive governments in the country.
According to him, policy somersault remains a bane of developmental initiatives in animal agriculture in Nigeria.
Mr Ahamefule said that he did a comparative evaluation of the milk constituents of 45 lactating ruminant animals, comprising 15 each of WAD goat and sheep and white Fulani cattle in a 12-week study.
The don insisted that WAD goat possessed outstanding attributes which were of foremost interest.
He therefore urged government at all levels to encourage young school leavers and graduates to go into its production.
He said: “This indigenous small ruminant breed holds staggering potentials capable of meeting the animal protein needs of over 60 million Nigerians.
“It is however worrisome that a nation like ours, blessed with such indigenous potent animal species, has remained recalcitrant to its development even in the light of her obvious endorsements.”
Mr Ahamefule also called for constant sensitisation of the rural populace on the huge gains of WAD goat production, through the media and extension agents.
He said that the sensitisation would help to make the people amenable to changes and innovations aimed at increasing and multiplying the breed.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Francis Otunta, who was represented by Prof. Maduemesi Iwe, thanked the lectuerer for his “scintillating lecture and contribution to knowledge.”